Compliments are Complex

” Compliments are always great to receive , but when it comes from you, it;s even more special” one of my ex students said to me when I complimented her on an exceptional piece of writing that she had sent in for approval. That in itself was a compliment, put so gracefully, making the receiver feel cared for and appreciated.

However receiving a compliment gracefully is an art which most of us have not been able to master, though I think enough has been written about it in almost every magazine and in the lighter reading sections of newspapers and e-magazines.

It’s just hard to say a graceful ‘Thank you’ and follow it with a simple smile.

Some people (including me, I confess) feel uncomfortable and follow it by saying the following:

You are being kind

Really?…I thought the opposite..

You are trying to make me feel good…

I am too old for this..

This dress?…. its really an old one…

Don’t joke!

…….and so the list is endless, in essence the receiver of the compliment is not ready to believe any good thing said about him or her.How self effacing and modest…. or what- low self esteem, unhappy childhood? I don’t know….

I am guilty of it myself and on a daily basis I see people indulging in this sort of behaviour.

Also, sometimes the receiver gets pretty negative thoughts about the compliment . This is applicable to women as much as to men .

Thoughts can be variants of:

Is he or she serious?

What if she is actually thinking the opposite ?

Is he trying to flatter me?

How can I be good at anything?

…. and of course these kinds of damaging thoughts do occur and the feel good factor of the compliment does diminish a bit.

Needless to say, the fact remains that compliments feel good; A sincerely given compliment feels divine, puts both the giver and the receiver of the compliment into a good mood, lifts your spirits and you are more likely to spread these feel good vibes to people around you and make the world a slightly better place.

Go on, you could start by complimenting this piece….

Yes I know you mean it….. you charmer, you:)


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